Friday, February 27, 2004

Devil May Care

There's not a new fridayfive this week (from the blogosphere phenomemon fridayfive.org), so I plucked one out of the archives from before I joined up.


1. What food do you like that most people hate? Liver and onions with bacon. My mouth is watering right now thinking about it.

2. What food do you hate that most people love? Cheetos. That orange dust on everything.

3. What famous person, whom many people may find attractive, is most unappealing to you? Jennifer Anniston. She never looks fresh to me.

4. What famous person, whom many people may find unappealing, do you find
attractive? Linda Cohn from ESPN. There's just something fetching about her.

5. What popular trend baffles you? The Atkins diet. Tell me again how eating a lot of bacon helps you lose weight?


Give me a yell at johnoakdalton@hotmail.com.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Hearts and Bones

Short on time today, so here's a bit more from my b-fantasy script RING OF THE SORCERESS:

Boris stands above him, triumphant.
But Silverthorn is looking past him, somewhere beyond.
SILVERTHORN (CONT'D)
(whispers)
Peryl....
CUT TO:
EXT. WOODS (LAKE) -- CONTINUOUS
Peryl turns her head, as if hearing something in the wind.
Feature Peryl's POV, as she scans the branches blowing in the breeze, the grass rippling, the sun dancing on water.
Peryl turns around, and continues to follow the path.
Suddenly, a hand grasps her shoulder.
SHADOW
(grating)
You.
Peryl starts, and turns, eyes wide.
SHADOW (CONT'D)
You did this to me.
Peryl opens her mouth to speak, and cannot find words. Shadow shakes her.
SHADOW (CONT'D)
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME?!
PERYL
I--I brought you back to life.
SHADOW
This?
(beat)
This is life? I have no memory of who I was...my body aches with cold, but my mind is on fire. You did not return me as a man, but as a shadow.
PERYL
My...intention was to bring back a little girl's pet. But you lay in an unmarked grave nearby.
(beat, carefully)
How did you arrive there, shadow?
Shadow shakes his head.
SHADOW
I...know not. I remember...a cave, running with blood...a black castle, on a high cliff, backed with cold stars...something draws me there...
PERYL
A black castle? That sounds like Castle Ebon, where Queen Esme rules...but I fear you would not be welcome there, even under better circumstances. The queen is in mourning--
SHADOW
--and I am haunted by other visions...of the slaughter of innocents, helpless maidens and others...
Peryl looks significantly at his sword.
PERYL
That is waking nightmare. Those things have come to pass.
Shadow shakes his head.
SHADOW
I am guilty of stealing clothes from a farm wife's clothesline, and this sword from a smithy's scrap heap.
PERYL
Be that true or not, it seems we both want to end this suffering. Return with me to the abbey, and I will try to undo what has been done.
Shadow shakes his head.
SHADOW
No! My destiny lies elsewhere.
PERYL
Your destiny is the grave, shadow. You must be...unmade.
Shadow unsheathes his sword.
SHADOW
Do not force my hand.
The two stare at each other for a long moment. Suddenly, the reverie is broken by a SHOUT from out of frame.
BROKEFOOT (O.S.)
What's this?
Shadow and Peryl turn and face three ragged, dirty mercenaries in patched-together armor and rusting swords. Their leader, BROKEFOOT, is a hard-looking man bearing the scars of a hundred battles. He sports an evil, yellowed grin.
BROKEFOOT (CONT'D)
Boys, it looks like we've found the maiden-slayer. The villiage militia is offering gold for his head.
Shadow lowers his sword.
SHADOW
This is not as it seems.
BROKEFOOT
There can be no other way. We stopped you before your murdered another.
(he looks Peryl up and down)
Or mayhaps we got here too late. This one was already raped and dead.
The men all grin with broken teeth. Peryl shakes her head in horror as Brokefoot reaches for her.
BROKEFOOT (CONT'D)
(to his compatriots)
See to the maiden-killer, and I'll save you some.
Shadow pushes Peryl away.
SHADOW
RUN!!
Peryl takes off in a dead run as Shadow meets Brokefoot at sword-points. The two blades CLASH as the first of Brokefoot's companions, GREGOR, HOOTS and pursues Peryl. The second man, LEMUEL, ROARS and attacks Shadow as well. Suddenly, he is fighting off attacks from two sides.
Feature Peryl running through the woods.
Feature Gregor in hot pursuit.
Feature Shadow turning on Brokefoot, swords CLANGING, as Lemuel tries to flank him. As Shadow pushes his advantage on Brokefoot, he loses track of Lemuel.
Suddenly, Shadow is run through by Lemuel. Shadow, a look of shock on his face, stares down at the bloodied point jutting a foot from his chest.
Feature Peryl being overtaken by Gregor, and going down in a heap, the slavering mercenary crushing her under his weight. She SCREAMS and struggles as he rips at her clothes.
Lemuel pulls the sword free from Shadow, and he falls to his knees, gasping. Then he topples over into the dirt. The two mercenaries look on for a moment, then exchange glances.
BROKEFOOT
Let's catch up to Gregor. He can't have all the fun.
The two clasp shoulders and head off down the trail.
Behind them, Shadow raises up and glares, murder in his eyes.
Brokefoot and Lemuel stop, feeling his gaze beat down on the back of their necks. They both turn slowly.
Shadow reaches down and picks up his fallen blade. It sings in his hand.
Shadow YELLS and charges.
Lemuel, caught flat-footed, takes a blade to the torso and falls.
Brokefoot drops to his knees in supplication.
BROKEFOOT (CONT'D)
Please...NO!!
Shadow raises his sword and brings it down, reducing Brokefoot's scream to a GURGLE.
CUT TO:
EXT. WOODS -- MOMENTS LATER
Gregor is fighting to subdue Peryl. She begins another CHANT. Gregor backhands her.
GREGOR
Still your tongue, witch!
But suddenly, branches begin to whip down and crack Gregor about the face and neck. He begins to CRY OUT in protest. He leaps off of Peryl and staggers a few steps back, bleeding from whip marks. He gives Peryl a flinty leer.
GREGOR (CONT'D)
You want to feel the lash, do ya? You'll get the lash. I'll beat ya like a five-ducat harlot.
Gregor steps forward, and Peryl scrabbles back.
Gregor leans down. Suddenly, cold steel blooms from his chest, jutting from his ribs. He falls, choking, and Shadow stands revealed behind him.
Peryl sits up, and surveys the scene. Shadow steps up and offers her his hand. She ignores it and struggles to her feet.
SHADOW
Do you still not trust me, after what you've seen?
PERYL
You have slaked your bloodthirst with the lives of evil men...does that make it any less wicked?
Shadow looks stunned.
SHADOW
Then I will return with you to your abbey...as an escort to you only, to prove my intentions.
PERYL
We shall see.
Peryl nods, and abruptly walks away. After a moment, Shadow follows.


Give me a yell at johnoakdalton@hotmail.com.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Ah Leah

I have started working on a rewrite of the script for SEX MACHINE for director Christopher Sharpe, of Eyeball Magazine and www.cinemaeye.com fame. I'm excited about this project, and think it has a lot of potential. Really entertaining script.

Fortunately or unfortunately I have time for it because GIZZARD GUTS and DEMONS ON A DEAD END STREET for the Polonia Brothers have been tabled for a bit (although they are still hard at work on RAZORTEETH, shooting a snowmobile scene this past weekend). Hopefully there will be news on those in the spring.

From a DVD release list, I discovered that these movies are also coming out on the same day as AMONG US: BIG FISH, THE FILMS OF KENNETH ANGER, THREES: MENAGE A TROIS, and TIMELINE.

And these are coming out on the same day as PETER ROTTENTAIL: BAD SANTA, PASSION IN HOT HOLLOWS, SHAOLIN IDIOT, TRAINSPOTTING (SPECIAL EDITION).

AMONG US is starting to show up for pre-order; I've seen it at amazon.com and cduniverse.com, though no box art yet. I'm interested to know what the world thinks, and I guess it won't be long now.

Give me a yell at johnoakdalton@hotmail.com.


Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Flushed from the Bathroom of Your Heart

Last night I finished a paper on microcinema that I am going to present at an academic conference down in Orlando in a few weeks, only a couple of days behind schedule. I hope people will find it interesting. I about knocked myself unconscious trying to get it together in time.

In blog hits news, I'm worried about the guy who found my site by typing in "left for dead beatings in Orlando" but don't have any sympathy for the person who typed in "John Lenny The Beatles." Thanks again to pulpmovies.com and b-movie.com for hittin' this thang so much lately.

Here's a bit more from RING OF THE SORCERESS, introducing some kung fu. See, I told you there was a little of everything in this one.

DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. WOODS -- AFTERNOON
Peryl, cloaked and carrying a walking stick, makes her way along the path and away from the abbey.
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. WOODS -- LATER
Peryl, searching, is framed against various nature scenes.
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. ABBEY -- LATER
Silverthorn looks into the distance, the wind ruffling his cloak.
SILVERTHORN
May the gods protect you, Peryl.
Something catches Silverthorn's eye.
Coming toward the abbey are the four swordsmen.
Silverthorn studies the group with a clouded expression, then moves to meet them.
EXT. ABBEY -- MOMENTS LATER
The swordsmen's path is crossed by the crazed seer, now awake from the reverie Peryl put him in. The seer gets on his knees and starts bowing and scraping to Boris.
SEER
All hail the King! All hail the King!
Boris finds some grim humor in this.
BORIS
On your feet, commoner. I am a knight, no king.
SEER
All hail King Blood-Hand!
Boris' face becomes a scowl. Luther kicks the ragged man aside.
LUTHER
Off with you!
Boris does not give him even a backward glance at first; then he stops and addresses his knights.
BORIS
Give him the blade if he opens his mouth again!
The men shoulder past the babbling mystic.
CUT TO:
EXT. ABBEY (COURTYARD) -- MOMENTS LATER
Silverthorn meets the group of knights at the edge of the garden.
BORIS
Stand aside for the Queen's Silent Guard! We seek a female monk called Peryl, suspected of grave robbery and other crimes against the kingdom.
LUTHER
The villagers told us we would find her here.
SILVERTHORN
For a silent guard, you seem to have plenty to say.
BORIS
Our creed is "Deeds, not words." I pray thee, monk, not to test us further.
SILVERTHORN
I have known Peryl since she was a babe in swaddling, and I can assue you she is not prone to grave-robbing or other misdeeds.
BORIS
Be that as it may...stand aside.
SILVERTHORN
I am Master Devlin Silverthorn of Crescent Abbey and the Order of the Crystal Skull...and as such, we stand above the mortal laws of the monarchy.
BORIS
I am Sir Boris Halfmoon of Queen Esme's own Silent Guard...and I would wager my steel against your mysticism.
Silverthorn takes the measure of the rugged knight and nods solemnly.
SILVERTHORN
Sir Boris Halfmoon. Known as Boris the Blood-Handed in some circles.
BORIS
All I have done has been in the name of queen and kingdom.
SILVERTHORN
Mayhaps that belief helps you sleep at night.
BORIS
Whether I sleep restless or deep is of no mind...as I always awake the next morn.
Boris unsheathes his sword.
BORIS (CONT'D)
Sadly, that is not to be your fate.
Several other monks step up behind Silverthorn, glaring at the swordsmen with piercing eyes and firmly-set mouths.
SILVERTHORN
You may find that the humble monks of Crescent Abbey have done more than tend dusty tomes all these years.
With a ROAR, Boris swings his blade at Silverthorn. The monk grabs it between two palms and swings it to the side, sending Boris reeling. He delivers a flurry of blows on the knight as the other monks and swordsmen fall to fighting.
Monks fall under the blades of the swordsmen; but the swordsmen are also falling under the martial-arts moves of the monks.
One monk comes around with a roundhouse kick and sends Luther's teeth spraying in a froth of blood. He drops to his knees, his sword falling from nerveless fingers.
At the forefront of the fray, Silverthorn has grasped a length of branch from the ground and is using it to deflect Boris' blows.
Then Silverthorn goes on offense, beating Boris about the face and neck with the improvised weapon. Blood flows, and Boris becomes enraged.
To his side, the monk Luther has engaged knees his in the face as the knight staggers to his feet. Then the monk grabs Luther by the skull, twisting it suddenly. A sickening SNAP rings out.
Boris catches the end of this gruesome scene, and a cold look comes over his face. He reaches under his cloak and produces a short dagger.
Silverthorn steps back, taking the knight's measure. Boris, cold-eyed, is bobbing and weaving like a coiled snake.
And then he strikes. The dagger finds home in Silverthorn's heart. The monk doubles over, coughing blood.
Boris stands above him, triumphant.
But Silverthorn is looking past him, somewhere beyond.
SILVERTHORN (CONT'D)
(whispers)
Peryl....

Give me a yell at johnoakdalton@hotmail.com.




Monday, February 23, 2004

Suits Are Picking Up The Bill

I went to see OUR TOWN yesterday at the university, and enjoyed it quite a bit. I've seen this show over and over, at my high school and the local civic theater and so on (hasn't everybody?), but this was the first version I had ever seen with some energy and fun to it that wasn't so somber. And the sentiment at the end in the graveyard was great. Or maybe it's just that I'm finally old enough to appreciate it.

Had a great dinner with friends Saturday, and worked a lot on a paper on microcinema I am presenting at a conference in Orlando in a few weeks.

And Milan played Muncie Central again, 50 years after the game fictionalized in HOOSIERS. What's better than high school basketball in Indiana? Not too much.

Give me a yell at johnoakdalton@hotmail.com.


Friday, February 20, 2004

I Was Made to Love Magic

Here's this week FridayFive, from the blogisphere phenom Fridayfive.org.

When was the last time you...

1. ...went to the doctor? The summer before last, when I started getting sick right before I went to Panama City, Florida, as I didn't want to go for a two-week vacation and be sick the whole time.

2. ...went to the dentist? I went for a cleaning sometime in the last eighteen months or so, not sure.

3. ...filled your gas tank? A week ago Thursday, as I was going to Indianapolis the next day to the Madame Walker theater for a jazz show. I have a 02 Windstar that usually needs tanking up every ten days or so.

4. ...got enough sleep? I had a migraine Sunday night so I went to bed about 8:30 p.m. and slept until about 6 a.m. the following morning.

5. ...backed up your computer? About two weeks ago, since we just had a monumental crash. Nobody does back ups until they have a big crash, I've noticed.

Give me a yell at johnoakdalton@hotmail.com.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Love I Lost, Part 1

I did my audio commentary for PETER ROTTENTAIL last night, and I think it went okay. I did not make the long BLARRRP sound that a loyal reader emailed me to say would be what it would sound like if indeed I "talked out of my ass" like I indicated yesterday.

I'm gearing up for a rewrite on a pretty interesting script which I hope to be able to talk more about in the next few days.

I got a new batch of screeners to review for www.microcinemascene.com, and over lunch today watched an eye-popping short called CARMEN'S VIRTUE with some pretty wild kung fu scenes in it. A lot of fun, and worth looking for.

Here's a bit more from RING OF THE SORCERESS:

CUT TO:
EXT. FARM FIELDS -- LATER
A pastoral scene, of a FAMILY working the land. The idyll is broken by the CLANG of heavy armor.
The MOTHER of the clan, working alongside a CHILD, looks up in fear.
Four grim, armored swordsmen, led by BORIS HALFMOON, a sharp-eyed knight with a dark demeanor, crest the hill.
MOTHER
(whispers)
Silent Guard.
She covers the child's eyes.
The foursome pulls up short. The FATHER wipes sweat from his brow and approaches hesitantly. Boris and his man-at-arms, LUTHER OSRIC, a young lantern-jawed knight, brace the proud farmer.
BORIS
Where stands Crescent Abbey?
The father points.
FATHER
Through yonder wood.
Boris nods curtly, and the other knights fall in behind him. Luther turns and flips the farmer a gold coin. The man plucks it out of the air.
The father watches them until they disappear, then drops the gold coin as if it were roasting hot, and kicks dirt over it. He turns solemnly to his wife.
FATHER (CONT'D)
Take the children to the root cellar, and lock the door behind ye.
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. ABBEY -- AFTERNOON
An ancient stone keep, overgrown with vines and flowers, nestled in a pleasant wood.
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. ABBEY (COURTYARD) -- CONTINUOUS
Peryl sits on a stone bench in a neatly-kept courtyard next to a pleasant pond. But her face is turned in upon itself.
DEVLIN SILVERTHORN, an older man dressed in the same severe robes as Peryl, observes her from afar. After a long moment, he approaches.
SILVERTHORN
Peryl.
Peryl comes out of her reverie.
PERYL
Master Silverthorn.
SILVERTHORN
I bring bad news from the village, I fear. Another maiden found slain.
Peryl looks ill.
PERYL
Dark days, indeed. But I hear that the Queen's own guard is involved in the search.
SILVERTHORN
Indeed...for better or ill.
(beat)
Is that all that concerns you today?
Peryl chooses her words carefully.
PERYL
I wonder about the day I came to Crescent Abbey.
SILVERTHORN
A foundling, in a basket. Many of our order have arrived in that fashion.
PERYL
There was a note, pinned to the blanket.
SILVERTHORN
It said "Peril," yes.
PERYL
I have begun to wonder if that was my name...or a warning.
SILVERTHORN
The order has been trying to help you master your powers.
Peryl absorbs this.
PERYL
But what I have yet to learn is...can my power be evil, if I try to use it for good?
Silverthorn pauses.
SILVERTHORN
Do you need to tell me about something, my child?
PERYL
No, I...I just need to take a walk and think.
SILVERTHORN
Please do not go beyond the abbey walls, while a killer stalks the wood.
PERYL
I will go where I must.
Peryl gets up and leaves abruptly, while Silverthorn looks on with concern.

Give me a yell at johnoakdalton@hotmail.com.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

All the Young Dudes

Tonight I'm going to record my audio commentary for the DVD release of PETER ROTTENTAIL and hopefully not talk out of my ass the entire time. I'm also hoping to lock in a rewrite on what I think is going to be a pretty good project, more details to follow.

I had to give my scriptwriting class my lecture on talent the other day. This is the one where I say talent is an empty bucket, and it has to be filled with things, like projects, and deadlines, and discipline, and commitment. There's so many people that think they are going to graduate and say, "Everybody who thinks I'm cool line up over here with job offers," and it just ain't gonna happen. That's akin to sitting under a tree in your tighty whities waiting for the muse to descend from a cloud. Instead you've got to put your butt in the chair and work, even when the Pacers are on in the room next door. There is no doubt an electric spark of art in writing; but a lot of it is the low, steady thrumming of craft.

Give me a yell at johnoakdalton@hotmail.com.

Monday, February 16, 2004

A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square

For Valentine's Day this weekend we went to the Madame Walker Theater in Indianapolis and enjoyed great jazz music and an excellent soul food buffet. Really fun. But the weekend ended on a sour note with a migraine yesterday, which I'm still a bit woozy from today. It sort of curtailed some projects I wanted to get done yesterday, but I'll just have to put the hammer down more this week. Hopefully the return of my wayward computer from repair will help that along.

Here's more from my b-sized dark fantasy RING OF THE SORCERESS:

DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. STREAM -- AFTERNOON
A dainty young MAIDEN is washing clothes in a stream.
Behind her, a pale hand parts the trees, and she is seen from this unknown assailant's POV.
The maiden continues her work, HUMMING a tune.
Scuffed, dirty boots trod the ground behind her, coming closer.
The maiden continues to work. Suddenly, a shadow falls on her. She turns to look, and her eyes widen. She SCREAMS.
Feature a gleaming sword, the sun flashing on its cold steel blade. It falls out of sight to the sound of a sickening CHOP.
A red eye glows from the darkness.
CUT TO:
EXT. WOODS -- MORNING
Shadow startles awake with a shout. He is lying under a tree in a deep wood. A fire has gone out in a humble fire ring before him. Now he is dressed a little better, in a tunic and breeches, and has a sword at the ready.
Shadow looks at his rusty blade, glowing in the early morning light.
Shadow runs his dirty fingers through his ratty hair and looks around. Slowly he gets up and trudges off through the wood. His movements are stiff, cold, labored, his expression pale and haunted.
Shadow makes his way through the wood, looking at everything and nothing. Soon he hears the CLANK and tramp of steel-toed boots. He runs to hide in the brush.
He sees a group of knights go by in the distance, their direction clear and purposeful, their demeanor serious.
Shadow runs in the other direction, and almost runs right into a FARMER with a long pitchfork. The man falls down to the earth, stunned.
Shadow holds his hands out in submission, but the farmer is near hysterical, and is poking at him with his pitchfork.
FARMER
No! Stay away! Please, no!
Shadow tries dodging the pitchfork, but it sticks in his arm with a spurt of blood.
The scene is frozen for a long moment. Then Shadow, angered, pulls the pitchfork from the farmer's grasp and snaps it in two. He ROARS in pain and frustration.
The man scrambles to his feet and disappears into the brush.
Shadow looks sadly after him.
CUT TO:

Give me a yell at johnoakdalton@hotmail.com.


Friday, February 13, 2004

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

So here's today's blogisphere phenom Friday Five, from fridayfive.org, in honor of Friday the 13th:


1. Are you superstitious?
Yes, I knock on wood and always pick up lucky pennies. I also believe in karma and try not to do anything that would boomerang around and bite me on the ass later.


2. What extremes have you heard of someone going to in the name of superstition?
Probably centering around sports, like lucky hats or shirts or certain pregame food or music rituals.

3. Believer or not, what's your favorite superstition?
Stepping on a crack brings bad luck.

4. Do you believe in luck? If yes, do you have a lucky number/article of clothing/ritual?
I think you have to believe in luck, especially if you play a lot of D&D. I don't know if I have any particular rituals, but sometimes I like to listen to certain music before a presentation or big event.

5. Do you believe in astrology? Why or why not?
Not so sure about that, but I do believe the song that "The Night Has A Thousand Eyes."

Give me a yell at johnoakdalton@hotmail.com.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Ferry Cross the Mersey

I heard a funny story from filmmaker Mark Polonia that a friend of a friend had her house robbed, and out of her massive DVD collection the only one missing was THE HOUSE THAT SCREAMED.

Know your audience, I say.

So here's more from RING OF THE SORCERESS, my crazy low-fi everything but the kitchen sink fantasy epic:

CUT TO:
EXT. HILLOCK -- LATER
Maddie is solemnly piling rocks in a little mound while tears run down her face. We see that a small wooden cross has been crudely lettered with the word "Patches."
Peryl looks on with concern.
PERYL
Patches is in a better place now. She is running with the gods in bright fields.
Maddie looks up at Peryl with eyes streaming tears.
MADDIE
But she had a field to run in here! Until the wolves got her, at least.
PERYL
I know, child. I know.
Maddie hugs Peryl close, and the woman pats her forlorn head. After a long moment's thought, Peryl scans the horizon. Then she crouches down and looks Maddie full in the face.
PERYL (CONT'D)
There may be a way to bring Patches back. But if we do this, you must never, ever tell Master Silverthorn or old Arliss or anyone else in the abbey, for this magic is forbidden. Do you understand?
MADDIE
I do.
PERYL
Then turn your eyes away, child.
Maddie does so, obediently. Peryl touches her hand to the humble mound of stones that make up Patches' grave and begins to CHANT.
Maddie looks frightened as thunder rumbles in the distance.
Peryl finishes her CHANT and steps away from the small grave.
PERYL (CONT'D)
It is done.
Eagerly, Maddie pushes forward and begins moving the rocks away.
MADDIE
Patches! Patches!
Suddenly, a hand lurches out of the earth and grabs Maddie around the throat. She SCREAMS.
The earth begins to move all around, and a fierce, bearded man in rags claws his way from the earth. Soon enough, Peryl will dub him SHADOW. He flings the child aside.
PERYL
Run!
The girl does so. Shadow fixes his gaze on Peryl, who takes a faint-hearted step backwards. He lurches forward and grasps Peryl around the throat before she can slip away.
SHADOW
Must...stop...must KILL...NO!
Shadow pushes Peryl to the ground and clutches at his head.
Peryl looks at this specter in horror for a long moment, then takes off into the trees.
As Peryl retreats, Shadow lets out a HOWL.
SMASH CUT TO:
OPENING CREDITS AND MUSIC

Give me a yell at johnoakdalton@hotmail.com.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Jazz Scuffle

I found a lucky penny today. Does that mean my dying PC, my non-starting car, my poop-shooting toilet, all that is behind me? Maybe for today.

I have a line on a couple of new projects that I hope to be able to share shortly. Meanwhile, from the wilds of Pennsylvania, I understand that the winter scenes for my pirahna script RAZORTEETH are being geared up by Mark and John Polonia, there being sufficient ice and snow to simulate the frozen wastelands of Alaska.

As promised, I have taken the results of my on-line poll into consideration and will now begin posting pages from my low-fi dark fantasy script RING OF THE SORCERESS, which has been called SWORD OF THE ZOMBIE and DOOMED SWORD RISING in its former incarnations (I think it is WGA registered under the latter). Probably my best-rated of my badly-reviewed scripts on Triggerstreet.com, this script has been in the batter's box once or twice but never gotten up to the plate. Enjoy.

FADE IN:
INT. CASTLE EBON (QUEEN'S CHAMBERS) -- NIGHT
Several yellowed parchments are unrolled on a wood table, with medieval pen-and-ink drawings revealed. The drawings are thumbed through to match PERYL's VOICE-OVER.
PERYL (V.O.)
Back when the nights boiled with red clouds and the sun was an ebon orb high in the sky, a nightmare war raged between two evil necromancers. One, whose name is not dared whispered in the mad pits of grim purgatory, had crafted a mystic ring of chaos-stuff to do his bleak bidding. The other, as cold and unreasoning as the blazing stars overhead, simply wanted the ring for himself. The gore gouted over the land as the two hell-bound armies clashed on in mad bloodlust. When it appeared the ringĂ­s master would lose, rather than return the ring to its own chaos-plane from whence it was crafted, he hid it away, so no one could command its will. The earth groaned under the forces of evil that rumbled overhead, and before the two grim spellcasters could spill each other's lives one and for all, the ground split and swallowed itself...but the world eventually healed, and played host to nought but a scouring wind for many lifetimes.
MADDIE (V.O.)
How would anyone know it, if there was no folk to see it?
PERYL (V.O.)
Well, we know this planet was spun from the remains of old suns, though no mortal was there either.
MADDIE (V.O.)
But the world rides on the shoulders of a star giant!
PERYL (V.O.)
Mayhaps they are all just stories.
A long-nailed, attractive woman's hand sets a glowing ring on the parchment. DRAMATIC MUSIC SWELLS.
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. PASTORAL FIELD -- MORNING
Feature two female figures crossing a field on a bright morning, the grasses blowing in the warm breezes. They are backlit by a buttery-warm sun.
MADDIE (V.O.)
Tell me another story.
PERYL, a young, attractive woman in a severe monk's robe, puts her hand on the shoulder of MADDIE, a solemn-faced child carrying a small plain wooden box under one arm and a cornhusk doll under the other.
PERYL
What kind of story this time?
MADDIE
It must have witches and queens and monsters and--
A crazed, dirty SEER, with dirty rags tied over his eyes, leaps out from a bush directly in their path.
SEER
BLOOD!
Peryl quickly pulls the child behind her robes as the seer RANTS on.
SEER (CONT'D)
The dead are disgorged from the earth! The sky rains blood! The cold stars stare down on it all!
Peryl takes a decisive step forward and puts two fingers against the man's sweating forehead.
PERYL
Rest.
The seer's tongue lolls out of his head, and he slumps to the ground. Maddie looks on wide-eyed.
MADDIE
What did you do, Peryl?
PERYL
His mind was tired and needed to rest. That is all.
MADDIE
But he said--
PERYL
Come, child.
Peryl sweeps the girl up in her robe and shoos her away.
CUT TO:


Give me a shout at johnoakdalton@hotmail.com.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Undercover Angel

Yesterday I hit the hammer and finished up some rewrites for the climax of THE PAYBACK MAN for director Ivan Rogers. I think seeing PETER ROTTENTAIL on Friday night gave me a bit of a charge. It turned out pretty well, nicely shot with some good acting. I think my wife was a bit offended at some of the raunch (but the audience is teen to adult guys, after all) and I think Mark Polonia's wife was a bit too; but in the end we each blamed those parts on each other and got off scot-free. Film is a collaboration, indeed.

Speaking of film, I want to give a shout out to all of the people hitting me from www.b-movie.com. Now go back and buy AMONG US!

Feel free to give me a shout at johnoakdalton@hotmail.com.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Daddy Sang Bass

Last night I got a copy of PETER ROTTENTAIL in the mail. I hope to do an audio commmentary track for the DVD over the next few days. I didn't get to watch it, just skim through it, as my daughter's final JV basketball game was last night, but at first glimpse I think it's really, really, bizarre, but pretty darkly funny, with some good performances.

I think people will either love it or hate it. This will be the one embraced as a cult classic, or the humble citizens of the Polonia Brothers' hometown of Wellsboro Pennsylvania will finally rise up with pitchforks and torches and drive the demonic twins into the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. There's no middle ground.

By the way, my daughter hit two clutch free throws to seal the victory over the Centerville Bulldogs. The girls finished 9-6 on the season.

This weekend I need to do some more work on THE PAYBACK MAN for Ivan Rogers, hampered somewhat by the fact that my PC is in the repair shop, maybe never to be seen again.

A loyal reader weighed in yesterday that my recurring dream about my mystery office may have been a prison. Is my job a prison? An interesting insight.

Give me a shout at johnoakdalton@hotmail.com.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Living After Midnight

A rough couple of days; it seems like every time I turned around, somebody had a foot out, trying to kick my ass. I said bad luck comes in threes a few days ago; I think I'm on my second three.

All of us from work were going to lunch, and I was driving, and we discussed this, and I think half the vanload thought we were going to get in a wreck to finish out the third bad luck moment, and the other half weren't sure but were looking for some wood to knock on.

It reminds me of when I had a very vivid dream about an alien invasion years ago. We ended up living with my in-laws at their farm way out in the country to ride it out. One part I remember was that my father-in-law and I sneaked through the cornfields at night to a little mom and pop store in a neighboring town. We found the proprietor had shot himself but left a note that said to take what you want.

(Of course, astute readers will note the similarities between this dream and a movie that came out later called SIGNS. Should I take to wearing a foil-lined baseball cap, so others won't read my dreams and steal them for best-selling movies? The voting booths are open.)

I was retelling this dream at my in-law's house one night when my brother-in-law asked where he was in all this. I told him that when I last saw him before we escaped out into the country, he and his wife were sitting on the roof of their house, watching the skies and waiting for the invasion.

He seemed very disturbed by this. He kept telling me that they got down off the roof and took off too, but I wasn't around to see it.

So I guess my point is, I don't care what people say about technology and the modern era, there's still something primal, a biological superstition, that tickles at the back of our minds, and we'll probably always have that.

Two recurring dreams I have had: back in the Reagan era, I used to always dream I was lying in bed, and that my bedroom window became a brilliant white, and then the flesh was flayed from my body by the force of a nuclear explosion. In my adult life, I have dreamed often about going to my new office, which is institutional cinderblock green, with a narrow window and a metal desk in a corner down a short nondescript hall, and when I open the door for the first time I see dust motes spinning lazily in a warm beam of sun, and there's a few pieces of mail somebody slipped under the door lying on the generic tile floor, and I have a metal desk, and a tan phone.

Interpretations welcome at johnoakdalton@hotmail.com.

Monday, February 02, 2004

American Metaphysical Circus

Saturday was a good day; my daughter was in a high school music competition in the morning and got a first place, then we went to dinner at to an opera (Die Fledermaus) in the evening.

The next morning I was running laundry, and something got backed up outside in the sewer line and a large, oily, fragrant brown fountain shot out of the downstairs toilet.

My mind is still humming for the first and my stomach is still churning from the second.

That's the tricky part about life; enjoying the opera without thinking that the next day you may be swabbing up poo. Live for the moment, indeed.

Well, bad luck seems to always come in threes; my car broke down, my PC is dead, then this. Maybe fortunes will turn again. I got some good feedback on a project that I hope I can share with everyone shortly.

Until then, give me a shout at johnoakdalton@hotmail.com.